News / World

Toledo man charged with spray-painting anti-Arab message

EDS NOTE: VULGAR LANGUAGE BEHIND THE WORD TOLEDO – FILE – This Jan. 12, 2017, file photo, shows a heart and the word "Toledo" that Souheir Eltatawy says her daughter painted, covers a swastika and graffiti cursing Arabs that a vandal had spray-painted two days before on the garage door of the Lebanese family's home in the Toledo, Ohio, suburb of Sylvania Township, Ohio. Sylvania Township, Ohio, police say in a Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, court filing, that Osama Nazzal, of Toledo, Ohio, is being charged with a second-degree misdemeanor count of criminal damaging the home. (Dave Zapotosky/The Blade via AP, File)

EDS NOTE: VULGAR LANGUAGE BEHIND THE WORD TOLEDO – FILE – This Jan. 12, 2017, file photo, shows a heart and the word "Toledo" that Souheir Eltatawy says her daughter painted, covers a swastika and graffiti cursing Arabs that a vandal had spray-painted two days before on the garage door of the Lebanese family's home in the Toledo, Ohio, suburb of Sylvania Township, Ohio. Sylvania Township, Ohio, police say in a Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, court filing, that Osama Nazzal, of Toledo, Ohio, is being charged with a second-degree misdemeanor count of criminal damaging the home. (Dave Zapotosky/The Blade via AP, File)

TOLEDO, Ohio — Police have charged an Ohio man with criminal damaging in the spray-painting of a swastika and message cursing Arabs on a Lebanese family's garage door in suburban Toledo.

Sylvania Township police say 28-year-old Osama Nazzal, of Toledo, has a March 1 court appearance to face the second-degree misdemeanour count. Police say he told them the message wasn't a matter of ethnic intimidation, but they declined to discuss his possible motive.

Court records don't list an attorney for him and no one answered a telephone Wednesday that had been listed to him.

The Blade newspaper of Toledo reported that resident Souheir Eltatawy said she has felt afraid since the vandalism occurred; she declined further comment Wednesday.

An installer and radio station donated a new garage door to help the family after the Jan. 10 vandalism, and the community has shown support in other ways. People put encouraging messages on the defaced door about welcoming neighbours and love conquering hate. A couple hundred people also joined members of the Toledo Symphony to sing outside the home.

Deputy Chief Jim Rettig said detectives acted on a tip that led them to the suspect.

"It was a good old-fashioned police work with very limited resources, very limited evidence," Rettig said.

___

This story has been corrected to show the spelling of the resident's last name is Eltatawy, not Eltataway.

More on Metronews.ca